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Discuss the importance of measuring consumer behaviour and the different approaches to it.
 

Advantages of Portable PCs over other Brands

The world today has grown into a global village; meaning that someone in Europe does not need to hustle to communicate with someone in Australia or Asia. The reason why communication is easy; transportation is easy; and generally, life is easy is technological advancements. However, the advancement of technology has largely been attributed to the introduction and the development of computers. Computers have been used for decades since their inception and still in operation (Geisler and Hoang, 2013, pg. 39). They are employed in many sectors of the global economy including transport, education, and health among others. Therefore, people have grown fond of using computers in almost everything. Some of the benefits posted by computers include the creation of IT professions, the creation of automobile safety features, and advancement of methods of communication. In other sectors, computers are used to diagnose patients, run simulations and test projects, as well as to calculate and process big data. However, as the world continues to advance technologically, new areas of computer application emerge while over-dependence on computer systems continue to increase. In the society today, there are many computer models sold in the market. With more and more models of computers filling the market, the need to create more IT professions arise. Apart from that, the market base has been steadily growing since the use of computers have also been part of human lifestyle (CRN, 2016).

For this activity, our brands are portable PC. These PCs are either all in one computer or computer laptops which have a number of advantages compared to other large computer brands. Some of the benefits of all-in-one PCs include space saving, being sleek, affordability, and power saving. As mentioned herein, laptops and all in one PC brands are slim compared to other brands thereby, consuming less space compared to other bulkier brands. Where many officers and organizations that struggle for space to place their bulky computers, all in one computer and laptops are slim enough to fit in areas that others cannot. Such computers can be carried from one place to another. The all-in ones are lighter, smaller and can be moved from the house to the office in one bit (Hong, et al., 2013, pg. 26).

In relation to our brand, this paper will, therefore, provide information regarding the reasons why consumers would go for portable PCs compared to other computer brands. The paper will also discuss expectations, existing findings, and current market practices involving computers (Jarvenpaa and Todd, 2017, pg. 67). 

Factors that Influence Consumer Purchase Decisions

Studies regarding the purchase of personal computers in the country show that there are a number of theories and models that have been formulated to understand the buying behavior of consumers. In the process of buying a product, a customer needs to have his or her decisions made on what product to purchase and why. The method used to make a decision regarding whether to buy product A or B is what we refer to as decision-making. For every product sold in the market, there are purchase decisions that need to be considered before going for that particular product. For this product, some of the internal factors that would affect the decisions made during purchase include motivation, perception, age, attitude, and gender. However, the external factors include culture, the size of the family, members, economic conditions like income and earnings, and peer reference groups. In addition, there are social factors such as the customer’s computer literacy level and PC references (IDC, 2016).

According to PC marketing reports, about 92% of individuals in the country are using PC of which 78% are youths and 22% adults. According to the reports Out of the entire population that uses PCs, the age structure for consumers is as follows: 32% of  consumers are between the ages of 18 and 25; 54% falls between 26 and 35 years; 12% falls between 36 and 45years; and finally 2% of consumers are above 46 years. However, the level of education of individuals consuming PC products was as follows: 5% of consumers were high school graduates; 80% college, tertiary education, and university graduates; then 15% of consumers had Masters Degrees or Ph.Ds.

Results that are more specific showed that a larger percentage opted for all in one and other portable computers compared to bulky products (PC World, 2013). In Table 1 shown below, the frequency distribution of portable brands is illustrated.

Table 1. Frequency Distribution of PC Portable Brands

Apart from that, the study report also conducted surveys on whether the current PC brands that consumers used are their original brands or whether they had changed their brands; for those who admitted having switched their brands, they were asked to state reasons why they had to switch brands (Hair, et al., 2018). Some of the alternative reasons for switching brands given were:

  • Overall dissatisfaction from the laptop brand previously used
  • Reasons not associated with dissatisfaction

In line with the survey, portable PC users were grouped into:

  • Stayers (to refer to individuals who did not switch brands)
  • Satisfied switchers (to refer to those who switched their brands for reasons other than being dissatisfied) and;
  • Dissatisfied switchers (to refer to those who switched their brands because of dissatisfaction from previous PC brands)

In relation to the performed survey, Table 2 below demonstrates the outcomes of PC consumption in the country. According to the result, 62.4% of consumers considered themselves as stayers; 25.7% satisfied switchers; and 11.9% dissatisfied switchers (Kim, Han, and Srivastava, 2013, pg. 229).

Types of PC Consumers

Table 2. Distribution of PC Consumers

  1. Factors Influencing Purchase Decisions

Using principal components method of analysis to determine the reasons behind purchase decisions, it became evident that some of the features that consumers regarded while buying a particular PC brand included:

  • TV/Audio connection
  • Bluetooth availability
  • Availability of infrared technology
  • Presence of efficient wireless Internet features

The named features are regarded as mobility and connectivity features. About 21% of consumers regarded “Mobility and Connectivity Features” as the most important factor when purchasing a PC brand. However, there is another 19% of consumers that buy PC brands with regards to factors like ease of PC usage, resistant keyboard, chassis durability, security solutions, brand image, and other PC accessories. Such features are called “Value Added Features”. Otherwise, there are consumers who prefer “Post Purchase Services” when buying PC brands (PC World, 2013). The consumers who go for “Post Purchase Services” account for 11% of the entire consumer population. “Post Purchase Services” include factors such as ease maintenance and repair, technical service network prevalence, availability of technical support, and availability of warranty and guarantee conditions. Apart from that, there is a group of consumers who identified “Peripheral Specification” as the most important factor of brand purchase (Ganesh, Arnold and Reynolds, 2015, pg. 71). This consumer group accounted for 17% of the entire PC brand consumer population in the country. This factor is composed of features like PC standby duration, a number of USB ports available, modem/Ethernet, presence of DVD/CD player features, and speakers/amplifiers availability. On the contrary, there is a group of consumers who valued “Core Technical Features” when it comes to purchasing of PCs. This group was about 26% of the entire consumer population. Core Technical Features include processor type and speed, hard disk capacity, memory, and display resolution. Yet, another considered factor is “Physical Appearance”. About 2% of consumers preferred going for PC with good physical appearance. Some of the related features of physical appearance include design, weight, color, and dimensions. Finally, yet importantly, there are consumers who consider going for “Payment and Price Conditions” when purchasing PCs. This group account for 4% of the entire consumer population (Dillon and Reif, 2014, pg. 5). 

References

CRN, (2016) “Survey: Notebooks Surpass Desktop Sales For First Time”. Available at: https://www.crn.com/showArticle.jhtml?ArticleID=169400139 [Accessed 3 November 2018]

Dillon, T. and Reif, H. (2014) “Factors Influencing Consumers’ E-Commerce Commodity Purchases”. Information Technology, Learning and Performance Journal. 22 (2), 1-12.

Ganesh, J Arnold, M. and Reynolds, K. E. (2015) “Understanding The Customer Base Of Service Providers: An Examination of the Differences between Switchers and Stayers”, Journal of Marketing, 64 (3). 65-88.

Geisler, E. and Hoang, W. (2013) “Purchasing Information Technologies: Behavior Patterns in Service Companies”. International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management. 28(3), 38-42.

Hair, J. Anderson, R. Tatham, R., and Black, W. (2018) Multivariate Data Analysis, 5th Edition. New York: Prentice Hall.

Hong, Se-Joon, Lerch, F. Javier (2013) “A Laboratory Study of Consumers’ Preferences and Purchasing Behavior with Regards to Software Components”. ACM SIGMIS, 33 (3), 23-37.

IDC, (2016) “It's Gut-Check Time as Disruptive Business Models Gain Traction” [Online] “IDC Predictions. Available at: www.idc.com/ExecutiveInsights.htm [Accessed 3 November 2018]  

Jarvenpaa, S. and Todd, P. (2017) “Consumer Reactions to Electronic Shopping on the World Wide Web”. International Journal of Electronic Commerce. 1 (2), 59-88.

Kim, N. Han, J. K. and Srivastava, R. K. (2013) “A Dynamic IT Adoption Model for the SOHO Market: PC Generational Decisions with Technological Expectations”, Management Science, 48 (2), 222-242.

PC World, (2013) “Notebooks, LCDs Get Sales Edge”. Available at: https://www.PCWorld_com-NotebooksLCDsGetSalesEdge.htm [Accessed 03 November 2018]        

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